The Phillies came crashing down from their recent high this weekend, losing three of four to the lowly Astros as Houston put an enormous dent in the already slender playoff hopes of the Phils.

Houston scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to win game one 6-4. Rollins and Brown hit two-run homers in game two as the Phils won 12-6 to even the series at a game apiece. Kendrick allowed four runs in five innings in game three and the Phillies didn’t score, falling 5-0. Yesterday the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth and were outscored 5-2 the rest of the way as Houston won 7-6.

The pitching had been outstanding coming into the series, but the Phils allowed 24 runs in the four-game set.

The starting pitching was bad, throwing to a 6.00 ERA and allowing 14 runs (13 earned) over 21 innings. Cloyd was awful in game one, going just three innings. Hamels had the best start of the series for the Phils in game two, allowing four runs (three earned) over seven innings. Kendrick and Halladay were both unimpressive in their starts, combining to allow seven runs in 12 innings.

The bullpen was worse, allowing ten runs in 12 innings, throwing to a 5.25 ERA with a 1.58 ratio and walking seven in 12 frames. Only seven of the ten runs the bullpen allowed were earned. Aumont and Diekman floundered in game one as the Astros scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The Phils won game two, but Horst and De Fratus still combined to allow two runs (both unearned) over two innings. Bastardo, Aumont and De Fratus combined to allow four runs (three earned) in two innings yesterday.

The Phillies are 73-74 on the year after losing to the Houston Astros 7-6 yesterday. The Astros take the series three games to one. The Phils are in third place in the NL East, 16 1/2 games behind the first place Nationals. They’re four games out in the Wild Card hunt and Baseball Prospectus has their playoff odds at 0.4%.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and two home runs. He struck out seven. His ERA for the year is up to 4.03. He’s thrown to a 4.80 ERA over his last five starts and opponents have hit .308 against him.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Scott Moore singled to center with two outs, but Halladay struck out Justin Maxwell behind him for the third out.

JD Martinez tripled to center with two outs in the second. Halladay walked Tyler Greene behind him, putting two men on for the pitcher Jordan Lyles. Lyles grounded to short for the third out.

Jimmy Paredes reached on an infield single with one out in the third. Moore was next and hit a 1-2 pitch just out to left, putting the Astros up 2-1. Halladay struck Maxwell out again for the second out and got Matt Dominguez on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Halladay struck out Carlos Corporan and Martinez in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He was up 4-2 when he started the fifth. He walked Paredes with two outs, but got Moore on a ground ball he handled himself to set Houston down.

Halladay got a pair of ground outs to start the sixth before Corporan hammered the first pitch he saw from Halladay out to right, cutting the lead to 4-3. Martinez followed that with a double to left, but Halladay struck Greene out looking to leave Martinez at second.

Second home run that Halladay had allowed in the game. Both had come against batters hitting left-handed.

Bastardo started the seventh with the Phils still up a run. Righty Matt Downs hit for the lefty Brian Bogusevic and Bastardo struck him out swinging for the first out. Altuve was next and hit a ball to third. Martinez handled it, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Altuve stole second before Bastardo walked the switch-hitter Paredes on five pitches, putting two men on for the lefty Moore. Righty Brandon Laird hit for Moore and Aumont came on to pitch to him. Laird walked on five pitches and the bases were loaded. Maxwell was next and he blooped a ball down the first base line, which dropped on the chalk for a double that scored Altuve and Paredes and sent Laird to third with the Astros up 5-4. Dominguez was next and he chopped a ball over the head of Martinez and into left for a single, scoring both runners. 7-4. De Fratus came in to pitch to Corporan. Dominguez took second on a passed ball before De Fratus got Corporan on a ground ball to Utley for the second out with Dominguez moving up to third. Lefty Jason Castro hit for the pitcher Wesley Wright and De Fratus walked him intentionally, putting runners on the corners with two down for Greene. Greene grounded to third to end the inning.

A little bit of less than fantastic luck for the Phillies in the inning as Maxwell’s bloop goes for a double and Dominguez bounces a single over Martinez’s head. That doesn’t get you to four runs, though. The throwing error by Martinez gets things started and is followed up by back-to-back walks issues by Bastardo and Aumont.

Bastardo faces three batters. He struck the first one out, the second reached on the Martinez error and the third walked. He’s charged with two runs in the game (one earned). It’s the first time he had been charged with a run since August 21.

Aumont comes in with one out and runners on first and second. He faces three batters and they go walk, double, single (although both hits were a little fluky). He came into the series with a 1.08 ERA and an 0.96 ratio in nine appearances for the season. He appeared twice in the set, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning on two hits and three walks.

De Fratus pitched the bottom of the eighth with the lead cut to 7-6, setting the Astros down in order.

Very nice day for De Fratus, going 1 2/3 scoreless innings in which he allows one walk, which was intentional. He still hasn’t been charged with an earned run this season over 5 2/3 innings in six appearances.

Overall the pen goes two innings in the game, allowing four runs (three earned) on two hits and three walks. The bullpen has walked 4.26 batters per nine over their last 160 2/3 innings and 4.91 per nine over their last 44 innings.

Bastardo and De Fratus each threw 18 pitches in the game. Aumont threw 14.

Papelbon did not appear in the series for the Phils as the bullpen collapsed. The Phillies put a ton of pressure on Aumont in the set, a 23-year-old rookie with five career appearances coming into the series.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jordan Lyles went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Mayberry (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Ruiz catches with Pierre in left. Martinez plays third.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and hit a ball off the wall in center for a double. Pierre bunted him to third with the first out and Utley brought him home with a sac fly to right, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard struck out swinging to end the frame.

Not a fan of bunting with Pierre when the other team’s pitcher has faced one batter in the game and that batter hit the ball of the wall for a double.

Brown walked with two outs in the second and moved up to second when Martinez followed with a single to left. Halladay struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins walked to start the third and moved up to second when Pierre grounded out for the first out. Lyles got behind Utley 2-0 and then walked him intentionally, putting two men on for Howard. Howard grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.

I think walking Utley so a righty can pitch to Howard with a double-play in order is a pretty bad idea. Working out for the Astros that time, though.

Down 2-1, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Martinez and Halladay both struck out to start the fifth before Rollins drew a walk. Rollins stole second and moved up to third on a throwing error by the catcher Corporan. Pierre was next and doubled to left, scoring Rollins to tie the game at 2-2. Houston didn’t even start to pitch to Utley this time, walking him intentionally to put two men on for Howard. Howard pounded a ball off the wall in left, scoring both runners to make it 4-2. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple for the third out.

Putting extra men on so a righty can face Howard when there’s no double-play in order is an even worse idea. Howard delivers that time.

Righty Hector Ambriz struck out Ruiz and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The lead was cut to 4-3 when Martinez doubled off Ambriz to start the seventh. Orr hit for Halladay and lefty Wesley Wright came in to pitch to Orr. Ruf hit for Orr and grounded to third for the first out with Martinez holding. Rollins struck out swinging for the second out. Wigginton hit for Pierre with the lefty on the mound and was hit by an 0-1 pitch, putting runners on first and second for Utley. Utley blasted an 0-1 pitch to right, but Paredes made a jumping catch on the warning track as he fell to the ground to end the frame.

Nice catch at a big time for Paredes. Cost the Phillies two runs.

Ruf can’t move the runner up to third with the first out in career at-bat number two. No run for the Phils after the leadoff double.

The Phillies were down 7-4 when they hit in the eighth. Lefty Xavier Cedeno struck Howard out for the first out. Righty Mickey Storey came on to pitch to Ruiz and hit him with a pitch. Ruiz moved up to second when Mayberry followed with a single, putting two men on for Brown. Brown cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right-center, cutting the lead to 7-6. Nix hit for Martinez and righty Wilton Lopez came in to pitch to him. Nix struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Schierholtz, who had entered in the bottom of the seventh, grounded to second to leave Brown stranded.

Big hit for Brown, but the Phils can’t move him up from second as Nix and Schierholtz get set down back-to-back by the righty.

Rollins singled to center off of Lopez to start the ninth. Kratz hit for De Fratus and flew to deep right for the first out with Rollins tagging and moving up to second. Utley flew to left for the second out. Ruiz grounded to first to end the game.

Rollins was 3-for-4 with a walk and a double in the game. 6-for-17 with four walks, a double and a home run in the four-game set. 252/313/428 for the year. 333/394/619 so far in 71 plate appearances in September.

Pierre 1-for-2 with a double. 5-for-9 with a double and two walks in the series. 312/355/375 for the season. 452/500/516 in 37 plate appearances this month.

Utley 0-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. 3-for-12 with a double and six walks in the series. Two of the walks were intentional. 254/371/444 on the year.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-16 with two walks and two doubles in the set. 229/308/413 for the season. 189/276/311 over his last 105 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-10 with a walk in the series. 332/401/549 for the year.

Mayberry 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 6-for-16 with two walks and a double in the series. 260/316/426 on the year. 307/385/490 in 174 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run double. 2-for-13 with five walks, a double and a home run in the series. 239/335/370 for the season. 258/395/516 over his last 38 plate appearances.

Martinez 2-for-3 with a double in his only action of the series. Made a throwing error in the bottom of the seventh to get the Houston rally started. 172/212/263 for the year.

Lee (5-7, 3.36) faces righty RA Dickey (18-5, 2.68) tonight. The Phillies have won four straight games that Lee has started. He’s thrown to an 0.99 ERA with an 0.95 ratio in those four outings. Since the start of August he has walked three batters in 56 2/3 innings. Dickey has a 1.72 ERA over his last five starts. Righties are on-basing .250 against him for the year.